Monday, January 10, 2011

Go Ahead - See if Your Brain Will Pop!

New BrainPOP convert here.  We utilized the five day free trial prior to Christmas and had a good time with it, so I sprung for the annual membership for a single-use homeschooler ($99).  We are happy to have Tim and Moby help us have a better understanding of weather science right now.

I'm excited to utilize BrainPOP's curriculum calendar wherein each day a subject, idea, or person is highlighted; it reminds me of the daily journals from the Connect the Thoughts curriculum where you learn about something that happened on that date.  The journals are usually offered as free downloads from the CTT site if you would like to give them a go.  Very much structured like The Learning Calendar, too, which we had hanging up the year before last, but I kept forgetting to read the day's offering. 

The curriculum calendar can be found in the BrainPOP Educator's section (click the icon above to get there.)  This section is very helpful when planning lessons (if that's what you like to do - I like to wing it and follow whatever we are interested in at the moment); you can search across standards and align yourself accordingly.  It's a very helpful section because it can keep you more structured.  I would like to be more structured, but always seem to gravitate toward less because that's what seems to be best for us.  Much like I would like to live in an all white loft in the city with minimal decor and clutter, but that will never happen.  I'm a bit of a recovering clutter junkie and have tried to adopt a 'reject, reduce, reuse, recycle' philosophy.  So far it's going well, having been eleven days into this whole new way of being.  

Here's the link to January's curriculum calendar.  Today we can watch a movie about Amelia Earhart because she took off on her Pacific flight on this day in 1935.  After watching the short animated movie you can take a quiz, do some activities, and follow a trail to learn more about her.  Be careful, though.  You may end up knowing all there is to know about first flights, how a plane stays up in the air, how air traffic control towers operate, what cumulus clouds look like, what causes tsunamis, the states of matter and what Albert Einstein was like as a kid.  A trail sort of like that.  It can meander any which way you choose!  I prefer BrainPOP without a GPS.   

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